The Lina H. McCord program welcomes eight students from United Methodist-related historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) to serve as its 2017 summer interns. The summer intern program, sponsored by the Black College Fund (BCF), a ministry of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), follows a model of communication and interaction that is a hallmark of the United Methodist Church's earliest traditions.
The five-day orientation included guest speakers and training designed to sharpen and enhance the students' communications skills, help them build networking and leadership skills and strive for personal and corporate excellence. As part of their training, the students toured Meharry Medical College (a BCF school), along with local United Methodist agencies and offices, including the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Africa University Development Office, Discipleship Ministries, the General Commission on United Methodist Men, the General Council on Finance and Administration, the United Methodist Publishing House and United Methodist Communications.
Throughout the year, the students will travel across United Methodist jurisdictions and annual conferences representing BCF and GBHEM. After successfully completing one year as an intern, students have the opportunity to become ambassadors, a permanent designation, which allows continued travel and representation of the program. Two current ambassadors, Jessica Love, graduate of Rust College, and Markus McKinney, senior at Rust College, attended orientation to help with training and serve as mentors for the newly selected interns.
"Lina H. McCord interns and ambassadors are critical to helping annual conferences and congregations in The United Methodist Church see where their money is going," said Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson, assistant general secretary, Black College Fund and Ethnic Concerns, Division of Higher Education at GBHEM. "Historically black colleges and universities are still relevant and important in the life of the church. This program gives these students skills and an opportunity to share their success stories with United Methodists who have generously supported the Black College Fund. The McCord ambassadors are our best and brightest scholars and they beautifully represent the other 16,000 students who attend these 11 schools each year."
The ambassadors are named for the fund's longtime executive director, the late Lina H. McCord, and must be recommended by their chaplain and college or university's president to participate.
The Black College Fund, established by the 1972 United Methodist General Conference, provides support for operations, programs and capital improvements at the denomination's 11 HBCUs. The fund allows the institutions to keep their tuition and cost low. The United Methodist Church supports more HBCUs than any other religious organization.
"Because United Methodists faithfully and generously give to the Black College Fund, generations of students are able to dream, do and lead," continues Dr. Cynthia Bond Hopson. "Lina H. McCord interns and ambassadors are a shining example of the amazing work our institutions do every day."
General Board of Higher Education and Ministry website
One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Black College Fund provides financial support to maintain solid, challenging academic programs; strong faculties; and well-equipped facilities at 11 United Methodist-related historically black colleges and universities. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Black College Fund apportionment at 100 percent.